Acculturation and Psychological Functioning in Asian Indian Adolescents

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The objective of this exploratory study was to understand how Asian Indian immigrant families adjust to U.S. culture by examining factors that influence acculturation preferences or styles and how these styles may be associated with their children's psychological functioning, as measured by self-esteem and academic performance. 85 U.S.-born Asian Indian adolescents (45 girls; 40 boys) and one of their immigrant parents completed questionnaires about family demography, self-identification, acculturation, and religiosity. Adolescents also completed a self-perception profile. Results showed parents and adolescents had similar styles of acculturation. However, adolescents were more likely to self-identify as ‘Indian-American’ than were their parents. For both adolescents and their parents, integrated and assimilated acculturation styles were related to family SES, years of U.S. residence, and religiosity scores. Adolescents who had an integrated acculturation style had higher GPAs and higher scores on the self-perception profile than did adolescents who were separated or marginalized. The findings lend tentative support for an integrated style of acculturation in promoting positive outcomes for first generation Asian Indian adolescents.

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